(Updated Jan. 8, 2013)
The 10-time Emmy nominated Antiques Roadshow, “part adventure, part history lesson, part treasure hunt,” kicked off its 17th season with an episode featuring a little something for Scouting collectors.
The show’s premiere took us to Corpus Christi, Tex., and included a very-brief appraisal of Boy Scout posters.
Admittedly, when I first heard the show would feature BSA memorabilia, I had hoped the BSA segment would be longer. As it is, you can watch the 60-second appraisal of some BSA posters right here.
You Tell Me
What’s your most-prized piece of BSA memorabilia? And if you had to guess, what would you set as its dollar value? Leave your comment below.
Note from Bryan (Jan. 8, 2013): In an earlier version of this post, I oversold the BSA segment’s length and its depth. I was basing that on the information PBS sent to the BSA last month, and I published this post before I had seen the clip myself. I apologize for the confusion.
Scouts trade with Scouts; adults trade with adults.
Along with “trade one for one,” “always shake hands,” and “don’t bring money into a deal,” it’s one of the central tenets of patch trading.
But does that age-old rule still make sense? Or should Scouts and adults be allowed to swap patches under certain circumstances?
I ask because I recently learned that adults will be able to trade with Scouts at the 2013 National Scout Jamboree — but only in designated, supervised areas.
Here are the facts:
Post updated on June 5. See below.
OK, this is really nice.
The Greater New York Councils created the special-edition council shoulder patch seen above to commemorate the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
The patch, called “A Tribute in Light,” depicts the real-life Sept. 11 memorial displayed in New York each year. The twin beams of light shine from dusk on Sept. 11 through dawn the next day and can be seen for 60 miles.
It’s the first in the councils’ “Big Apple Series,” which is an annual “council shoulder patch series capturing the essence and world famous landmarks of the greatest city in the world.”
I love New York, and so I’m excited to see which landmark the councils showcase next. But it’s only fitting that they start with this moving tribute both to those who were lost and to those who are still healing from that terrible tragedy.
If you want one of these patches, read on to learn how to buy your own.
What does Scouting look like?
For decades, that question was best answered by Norman Rockwell.
His paintings shaped the BSA’s image in America for more than 60 years, and his art continues to paint a picture of Scouting’s history to this day. Continue reading
With more than 100 years of history, it’s no surprise that Scouting has seen its fair share of innovation and change. And collecting historic artifacts — uniforms, handbooks, and, of course, patches — from the past is a popular activity with many Scouts and Scouters.
Now, you can teleport back in time with the simple turn of a page in the soon-to-be-released Boy Scouts of America Scout Stuff: A Unique Collection of Memorabilia written by Robert Birkby, author of the Boy Scout Handbook and several other official BSA publications. Continue reading
Look up while riding a bus or train today, and you’ll probably see ads for the latest movie or hit TV show.
But if you rode one of San Francisco’s famous streetcars in the 1930s, you might have spotted the Boys’ Life advertisement seen above.
The ad, printed on a stiff piece of cardboard, appeared on the Market Street Railway in The City by the Bay. Continue reading
Living in Texas, I see this “Scouting Teaches Values” license plate on the highway at least once a week. You’ll find similar plates on vehicles in Utah, Oklahoma, Florida, Arkansas, Ohio, Colorado, and many more states.
But, as I found out today, BSA-themed license plates are nothing new. In fact, for David Miura of the Pacific Skyline Council, these plates represent the confluence of two collecting hobbies: BSA memorabilia and license plates.
He sent a photo of the plate seen above, which was a limited-edition release at the time of the 1957 National Scout Jamboree.
Here’s what he wrote:
I have been collecting Boy Scout council shoulder patches and automobile license plates since I was a kid, and this 1957 Michigan National Jamboree plate is the perfect crossover of my two hobbies. 150 plates were mounted on special Plymouth vehicles that were loaned to the BSA for staff and VIP use at the Jamboree site at Valley Forge, Pa. Some of the cars were also used to transport the contingent from Tall Pine Council of Flint, Mich.
I’ve displayed this plate and my Boy Scout-themed license plate collection at both the Automobile License Plate Collectors Association (ALPCA) national convention and the International Scouting Collectors Association( ISCA) NOAC trade-o-ree and have received positive response from both collecting communities.
Thanks for letting me share.
Pretty sweet! Thanks for sharing, David.
As for the rest of you, send me a photo of your favorite piece of Scouting memorabilia. Find out how after the jump.
You’ll hear about a troop’s history in a variety of ways.
Some seasoned Scouters will sit at the campfire and tell you the story of their troop from memory. Other units keep detailed scrapbooks or photo albums to pass on to future generations.
But St. Louis Scouter Lisa Balbes has a unique way of preserving Troop 352′s memories: a large patch blanket, seen above.
In a clever blending of classic Scouting and new technology, Balbes has even given the patch blanket its own Web site. The site lets you hover over each patch on the blanket for a closer look.
Here’s what she wrote in her note to me:
The troop associated with our school had folded, so when boys graduated from the pack they scattered to numerous troops. When my husband was Cubmaster, he decided to restart our own troop. After about eight years, we had a reunion and invited back everyone who could find who had ever been associated with either incarnation of Troop 352.
At the event, a lovely woman came whose father had been Scoutmaster of the troop in the 1960s through 1980s. Her father had passed away years ago, and her only brother, an Eagle Scout, had been killed in a car accident when he was 18. Her father had kept a patch collection, pinned to a piece of red fabric, that she’d kept all those years, not knowing what to do with it. She came to our reunion, and donated both the blanket and a Scout-themed candelabra to our troop. She was thrilled to find someone who wanted and appreciated them, and we were thrilled to get a piece of our troop’s history. I carefully sewed all the patches on (by hand), added a back and loops, and built the stand.
It now serves as a back drop at all our Courts of Honor, and the boys always enjoy looking at all the old patches, which include the first OA patch in our lodge, and some that we have not yet been able to identify. I am slowly figuring out what they all are and adding that to the database, so the troop’s history will not be lost again.
What a great way to preserve the legacy of Troop 352. If you have a cherished Scouting item you’d like to share for Memorabilia Monday, find out how to send it to me after the jump.
One song from my time as a Scout stands out among all others.
I have forgotten most of the words as time has passed, but I still remember the song’s tune and its key lyric: “I want to go back to Philmont.”
There’s truth to that line. It’s the exact thought that every man or woman, young or old, has as they leave Philmont and take one final glance at the Tooth of Time over their shoulder.
Don’t believe me?
Then ask Steve Skinner, executive board member for the Alamo Area Council in Texas. His most prized possession is the Philmont patch he wears on his right pocket (see a photo at left).
But it doesn’t stop there, as Steve tells it:
This Philmont patch was so special to me when I went as a 14-year-old in 1970 that I used my skills from the Leatherworking merit badge to create a permanent holder to keep it protected on my uniform (I still wear it very proudly today).
Little did I know then that I would go on the trails at Philmont nine more times during my 45-year Scouting career. I have the others framed.
You can see Steve’s framed collection above, which I’m grateful he took the time to show us.
That said, I have a hunch that Steve isn’t the only one with some Scouting memorabilia he’s proud of.
Send me yours for a future edition of Memorabilia Monday. Find out how after the jump.
When movie stars and athletes pose for a glossy, colorful poster, it’s routine. But when Bill Ward of Landenberg, Pa., was asked to star in a BSA national campaign, it was a life-changing moment.
That’s a 12-year-old Bill on the right in the poster seen here. Fifty-seven years later, the image is still a cherished memory for him.
Here’s how Bill remembers it in a letter he sent to me:
One of the highlights of my Scouting career was being selected to pose for the 1954 National BSA poster. From left to right the poster depicts Bill Shimpf (Explorer Scout), Jack Gallager (Scoutmaster), Ed Saunders (Cub Scout), and me. We were all proud members of Troop 179 of the BSA Cradle of Liberty Council in Philadelphia. Unfortunately, the artist changed our troop patch to 79. I was 12 years old at the time, and this was my 15 minutes of fame. We were interviewed on local television, and there were rumors of an appearance on the “Loretta Young Show” in New York CIty. We never made that trip, but the poster did, and it was broadcast on national television.
I loved my years with Troop 179, and I eventually earned the rank of Eagle Scout. I’m a little older now, but find every day that I still use the knowledge and skills I acquired then. I’m very pleased that my son Adam and grandson Zachary are active in BSA Troop 5 in Austin, Tex. I hope their experiences in Scouting are as positive and long-lasting as were mine.
That’s truly something to be proud of, Bill. Thanks for passing it along.
Now it’s your turn to send me your favorite piece of Scouting memorabilia. Here’s how:
- Take a high-res .jpg image of your favorite Scouting item.
- Just select one to send me (I know that picking one could be hard, but please try!).
- The file must be less than 2 MB in size.
- E-mail it to me with the subject line “Memorabilia” to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Include your name, position, and council.
- Tell me why this item is special to you.